The next â€œhazardousâ€ substance the industry needs to audit and report on may be carbon â€“ OK, carbon dioxide (humans are 18% carbon). And the next killer app might not be a communications device or a video game but some vehicle for carbon tracking.
Cisco is aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2012. Google wants to hit the target this year. Yahoo and Dell might already be there.
Itâ€™s only a matter of time, then, before these companies start pushing their suppliers to match their standards. Measures include lower-power electrical systems, solar and wind power for heating and cooling, and employee telecommuting and videoconferencing.
Unfortunately, there arenâ€™t standards on carbon tracking, and the methodologies companies are using to measure and lower their carbon output remain state secrets. This goes beyond the domain of any specific industry trade group, however, so the temptation will be to do nothing at all.